Punjab Research Group

CFP: Postcolonialism and Islam

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on September 14, 2009

The Northern Association for Postcolonial Studies (NAPS) and The Sunderland-Nizwa Centre for Anglo-Arab and Muslim Writing are inviting abstracts and expressions of interest for a conference to be held at the University of Sunderland, UK, 16-17 April 2010.

Postcolonialism and Islam are two terms that frequently appear in tandem, however, the relationship between the two and the question of their compatibility has not been extensively investigated. The speed and intensity of the changes characteristic of late modernity under the pressures of cultural and economic globalisation has traumatised Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Hybrid identity formations, very often provisional, are generated in the articulations of difference marked by imaginary relations to faith, nation, class, gender, sexuality and language. Postcolonialism might seem to provide a framework for approaching the experiences of not only formerly colonized subjects but émigrés, exiles and expatriates and their host societies. However, Muslim writers and intellectuals have both adopted and rejected postcolonial theory as an effective tool for analysing and accounting for the experience of Muslims in the modern world.

This multidisciplinary conference will be relevant to specialists in postcolonial theory, and cultural, historical, political, sociological, literary, and religious studies who seek to problematise both the terms themselves and their juxtaposition. It will mainly focus on these six main themes:

* Muslim identity and its connection to race, cultural politics, integration;
* The experience of Muslim communities in Britain and elsewhere in the West particularly as representative site(s) of settlement, networking and diasporic mobility;
* Terms such as multiculturalism, citizenship, secularism, ethnicity;
* The way in which Muslim culture(s) become(s) embedded in and thematised by Muslim and non-Muslim writers in English and other literatures in translation;
* The connection between Muslim women and the activities of western orientalism;
* The conditions and possibility of ‘Islamic’ feminism; its response to the way in which Muslim women have often been represented and theorised according to western, Christian and white feminist versions of female experience;

Other related topics will also be considered. The intention is to publish an edited volume based on the theme of the conference to which a selection of participants will be invited to contribute.
Confirmed Keynote speakers so far include:
– Dr. Tahir Abbas, FRSA, currently principal analyst at Deen International
– Prof. Ceri Peach, Emeritus Professor at the Oxford School of Geography and Professor at the Insitute for Social Change, Manchester University
– Prof. Patrick Williams, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, Nottingham Trent
If you wish to attend please submit a proposal (maximum 300 words) to one of the following by October 30th, 2009:

Dr. Geoffrey Nash (geoff.nash@sunderland.ac.uk), or Dr. Sarah Hackett (sarah.hackett-1@sunderland.ac.uk)

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